Port Arthur man guilty of federal machine gun possession charge; sentencing to come

Published 4:12 pm Thursday, November 10, 2022

Port Arthur Police Department officers and federal partners arrived May 17 at a home in the 3600 block of 40th Street, where Frankie Malik Cunningham was located to serve an outstanding felony warrant.

The owner gave consent for authorities to search the residence and located Cunningham in a bedroom. Also in the bedroom, according to federal prosecutors, were two Glock pistols, a rifle with a drum magazine, a pound of suspected marijuana and several Hydrocodone pills.

One of the pistols was outfitted with a “Glock Switch,” which is a device used to convert a standard, legal handgun into a fully automatic machine gun, according to U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston.

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Cunningham was under felony indictment at the time for possession of a controlled substance, and federal law prohibits the possession of a firearm or ammunition while under felony indictment.

Frankie Cunningham

A federal grand jury indicted Cunningham July 6.

The Port Arthur Police Department has previously described Cunningham as a known gang member in public statements.

Cunningham pleaded guilty Thursday to federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas for possession of a machine gun and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

The 23-year-old entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone.

He faces up to 15 years in federal prison.

A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a pre-sentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Tommy Coleman, with assistance from the Jefferson County District’s Attorney’s Office, is prosecuting the case.

The Port Arthur Police Department; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the U.S. Marshals Service and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office are involved in the investigation.